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A very special birthday celebrated at Crystal Basin Cellars on Saturday ushered World War II veteran William Joseph Turner into his 102nd year.

“He’s always been in such great shape, he’s always been active, he was playing softball into his 60s,” said Billy Turner, the veteran’s son.

Turner, born and raised in San Francisco, met and married the love of his life, Delores, in 1942. Directly afterward, he was sent to England to serve as a master sergeant working on aircraft in the ‘Mighty 8thAir Force.’

“When they came back from a mission, I inspected them for battle damage and whatnot,” Turner said.

Gone for nearly three years, Turner returned to the states where he and Delores had their three children.

“Family meant everything to them, my mom had a hard life, and dad grew up through the depression and you would never know it,” said Turner’s oldest child, Karen Ranson.

“He’s the greatest guy I know, it’s that simple, I can’t name anyone that’s a greater person that I know and my dad and my mom,” said Turner’s son, Stephen Turner.

Known for his love of a vintage varietal, Turner has celebrated his birthdays at Crystal Basin Cellars each year since he was 95, with the exception of the last two years, due to the pandemic.

The winery offers a deal to customers on their birthday — a discount the size of the customer’s age.

“The discount started pretty high right away, got 95% off a bottle of wine the first time we had him on his birthday,” said Crystal Basin Cellars owner, Mike Owen.

Turner attributes his longevity and happiness to his devotion to family, values, his love of baseball and wine.


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